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Pinochet & Franco: Cara al Sol !!
Christopher Jones has sent a long and angry defense of Franco, here slightly abbreviated: "Some strange disease has infected a portion of humanity, leaving the people afflicted in a constant state of extraordinary intellectual dishonesty. (Many political figures suffer from it too: Bill Clinton, who could never stop thinking about tomorrow, Fidel Castro who never wants tomorrow to come, Daniel Cohn Bendit who wants to forget about yesterday -- there are many more).
A terrible thought: could this disease be some sort of devilish WMD? Those poor souls with this disease are so badly infected that they are completely unable to admit that Pinochet (or Franco) was capable of anything positive. The positive impulses from the brain to the mouth are intercepted by this virus whenever they hear that Franco like Pinochet kept his country out of war. Positive? Of course not, is their answer. It was Pinochet or Franco. Nobody among the afflicted members of the socialist/marxist left (I could use another choice of words) wants to, or even could admit it because it would break a sacred taboo -- Franco -- Baaad! Pinochet -- Baaad. Just like the sheep in The Animal Farm. (BTW, taboo = political correctness).
Both Generals left their countries in surprisingly good shape (in the case of Chile, the word economic miracle is very appropriate.) -- Mouths left of center shut tight and teeth start to gnash -- Franco-- Baaad! Pinochet-- Baaad! And what about internal peace, an essential commodity necessary to rebuild a shattered economy? Both Generals delivered that too, whereas the preceding so-called democracies (which in my view were not democratic) were cesspools seething with "marxist" agitation. No, no, no! they retort and come up with a figure of 3197 victims of Gen. Pinochet's terror. I am against any loss of life. But Chile was in a semi-civil war status just before and after the coup.
Maybe it can explain these unfortunate deaths maybe it doesn't. But I am at a loss when a scholar like John Heelan conveniently forgets the deaths of priests by summary execution in the beloved Spanish Second Republic". RH: Christopher ends approvingly with the fascist song "Cara al Sol". I can almost hear him singing it.
I repeat that it is grossly unfair to confuse the Second Republic (1931-36) with the Civil War period, making it appear that the atrocities which Christopher again lists occurred under the Republic proper.
From John Heelan comes a calmer message: "I recommend that WAISers listen to a series of radio programs about Franco entitled "The Generalisimo", the first one was broadcast today at 1030Hrs UK time on Radio 4.
You can listen to it over Internet by logging onto: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/atoz/#g
and clicking "The Generalisimo".
The program description reads: "The Generalisimo Sat 2 Aug, 10:30 - 11:00 30 mins, Having dissected the career and reputation of De Gaulle in 'The General', Miles Kington now turns his attention to the Generalisimo, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, the dictator who ruled Spain from 1939 to his death in 1975. After twenty-five years of democracy, Spain is now a country transformed. In the first of a three-part series, Miles travels through Spain, uncovering memories of the pre-democracy era, the hidden stories of the Franco years and the life and legacy of the Generalisimo himself." Paul Preston seems to be the program advisor and makes several major contributions. Other notable contributors are Maria Rosa de Madariaga and Jose Luis Borau".
Over my desk there is a portrait of Salvador de Madariaga, the most brilliant man I have known. It was he who introduced me to Hispanic studies. In "O jerarqu’a o anarqu’a" he correctly warned that the Second Republic was descending into chaos, but he would angrily reject misrepresentations of the pre-Civil War period in which he played a significant role.
Ronald Hilton - 08.02.03